Feb 1, 2008

motivating your players

Maccabi Tel Aviv is the premier basketball team in Israel. They are the elite of the basketball league.

They started off this season with a new, young, coach; Oded Katash. Katash was part of the Maccabi Tel Aviv family, as he had played as a star on the team for a number of years. I think his playing career ended a few years ago after he suffered a foot injury.

I do not follow Israeli basketball too much, and I do not understand how the leagues here are designed. It seems the various teams each play in a few leagues - local, national, European, some others, and I cannot seem to figure it all out. So, I follow it as much as I understand from reading a headline that says Maccabi Tel Aviv won, or lost, last nights game. I do not know their record, I do not know stats, and I do not know details of the team and leagues.

The season started off pretty dismally. After paying a lot of money to field a good team on the court, including some top European players and a former NBA player (Marcus Fizer), Maccabi seemed to fizzle out of the starting block. They could not get the season in gear and did not play well. They lost a lot of games.

Oded Katash was fired. A former, older, coach was re-hired to coach the team through the rest of the season. Since hiring Tzvika Sharf as coach, Maccabi has played with an amazing record of 9 wins and 0 losses (I do not know if that is all in one league or if it is between a couple different leagues). The only reason I know they are 9-0 under Sharf is because they won some big game last night and the headline I read said they are 9-0 under Sharf.

Nothing has really changed since Katash was fired and Sharf hired. They did not change the players. Sharf has more experience than Katash did, so maybe he knew how to better utilize the players, but I have not read that he has made dramatic changes to playing style or to player makeup.

Sharf simply knows better how to motivate the players. He knows how to get them to perform. he knows how to make them play to their potential.

Having a coach isn't enough. To really succeed, you have to find the right person - the one who knows how to push your buttons, the guy who knows what to say and how to motivate you. That is the "make or break" of coaching. And it does not matter whether it is your basketball coach, your Rabbi, your counselor, your teacher, your wife, your husband, etc..

If you can motivate somebody properly, you can help bring out the best in them. If you can find someone who can motivate you, he can help bring out the best in you.


  1. Sounds a bit like a peirush on the Winograd report.

  2. on winograd?
    maybe on olmert. he is no good, but he knows how to keep his players in line...


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